How long have you been writing for?
I started writing when I was in my mid-thirties, about eight years ago. I have to confess, I’m not one of those authors who have written since they could first pick up a pen that you often hear about.
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?
Bringing your book to a publishable standard. If, like me, you don’t have a background in writing, there is just so much to learn. It’s something that comes over time, and with lots of practice.
What genre do you generally write?
At the moment I only write middle grade (children’s) fantasy. I have written one middle grade fantasy/sci-fi novel that I hope to publish in the near future, but my published work is epic fantasy.
Do you have a favourite author and why?
I would have to say Terry Brooks is my favourite author. I started reading his Shannara fantasy series when I was about twelve years old and have been hooked on fantasy ever since.
What is your book called and how did you choose this title?
My published children’s novel is called Truth Teller. It is book one in a series of three books so far. I got the title from an old saying: only children and drunks tell the truth. I use a slightly edited version of this saying in my story, and it sort of stemmed from there.
How could a modern day girl like Charlotte ever envisage that magic really exists? Even with her own vivid imagination, the place for other realms belongs in a child’s fairy tale. Or so she thinks, until she stumbles across a hidden curio shop and an even stranger shopkeeper. He gives her a gift that resembles an antique snow dome, but this is not an ordinary globe. The world Charlotte has always known disappears as she’s spirited away into a mystical land.
This is the beginning of a lifelong friendship that changes Charlotte’s life forever. Discovered by a young elf alone in the forest, she embarks on a journey in search of a group of travelling Entertainers. She encounters heart-stopping dangers and real life monsters, but a far greater threat shadows her every move. Even the strength and skill of her new found companions cannot protect her against a ruthless druid assassin.
But in this realm, Charlotte is not the vulnerable little girl she thought she was.
Has your book been published and how did you go about this?
Unfortunately, in the current climate, epic fantasy isn’t very marketable in the children’s division, so rather than just shelve my story, I published it myself. I created my own publishing company, UK Children’s Publishing, in order to self-publish my novel.
Approximately how long did it take you to finish your book?
It takes me on average about a year to write a complete novel. I would say it probably takes about the same amount of time to bring the first draft of that novel up to a publishable standard. Maybe even longer.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
The best advice I was given was to join an online writing group and talk to other writers. I didn’t know anything about writing when I started out, and I had a lot to learn. I couldn’t have done it without the help and support from a writing group I joined. It was the best thing I ever did. There are plenty of them to choose from. Here is a list I made of some of the best ones out there:
The second best piece of advice I was given was to never give up. This is a very sound advice. Writing a whole novel and getting it publish is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. You will face a lot of criticism and rejection. It would have been so easy to give up on so many occasions. I’m glad I took this advice onboard.
Do you use social media to promote your book? If yes, then which social networks do you like the most?
I think every author uses social media as a promotion tool. There are many resources for us to use out there. I use Blogger, Twitter and Facebook mainly. I dabble with other sites such as Goodreads and Squidoo.
Have you enrolled your book onto Amazon’s KDP Select and how have you found it?
No. I have my book on Amazon, but I also use Smashwords and some other sites. My understanding was if you use KDP Select, you’re not allowed to do this.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
If I had to do it all again, maybe I wouldn’t do it at all. lol I really did have to start right from the bottom. I’ve always struggled with English and wasn’t even very good at reading. For some strange unknown reason, I thought it would be a good idea to write a book. It took me many years and a LOT of work to get to where I am now, but it was the most amazing journey I have ever been on.
If I had to do it all again, I think I would have listened more when I was at school.
What books do you like to read in your spare time?
I love fantasy. I’m not a massive lover of reality. I’m currently reading book five of The Clan of the Cave Bear series, by Jean M. Auel. I recommend it to anyone. It’s awesome.
What do you feel is the most important stage of writing a book?
I would have to say, actually getting that first draft down. Anything can be edited, no matter how bad it is. It’s not easy to write a whole novel. Lots of writers give up before finishing or move on to other things. Once you get the whole thing down, you can step away from it for a while and then come back to edit and make it great.
How did you go about designing the cover for your book?
That was easy. I am best friends with the most awesome cover artist, Dawne Dominique. She was one of the first writers I met when I joined a writing group and has been with me from the creation of Truth Teller. She helped me so much when I was starting out, and she created the most stunning cover I have today. My cover won best cover art of 2012 on the Preditors & Editors readers poll at the end of last year.
Are you writing or considering writing a follow-up to your book?
I have another two books in the series that I have already written: book two, The Wrath of Siren, and book three, Favian’s Law. Book two is in the editing process, and I will be publishing it some time this year before I start editing book three. I am also in the process of writing a fourth book in the series, working title: Lost Magic.
Do you have a day job (if so, what do you do?) or do you write full-time?
I do have a day job. I am a carpenter in the building trade. I would love to sell enough books to be able to write full time. Who knows what the future will bring?
Amazon UK: Click here to sample or buy
Amazon US: Click here to sample or buy
Smashwords: Click here to sample or buy
Goodreads: Click here to sample or buy
Shelfari: Click here to sample or buy
Barnes & Noble: Click here to sample or buy
You can connect with the author at:
Author’s Web page http://kurtchambers.net/
Author’s Blog http://geniusborderinginsanity.blogspot.com/